2004-10-08, TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, FL

Vote For Change
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Bruce joins REM for "Permanent Vacation" and "Man on the Moon".

Tracy Chapman joins Bruce on "My Hometown".

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
John Hocking wrote: WOW! WOW! WOW! This was my 46th show, the first being on 9/30/78. I have an ever so slight tendency to hyperbolize when describing Bruce. I've left many many shows thinking I'd just seen the greatest rock and roll that had ever been or ever would be. It has now been almost three years and I still think this was the greatest show I've attended, by anyone, ever, including Philadelphia a week earlier. It certainly meant the most to me.

IMO, Traci Chapman was a better opener than Bright Eyes. Her set included Fast Car and Revolution (or Talkin bout a Revolution?). REM seemed better than in Philly and Bruce turned Man in the Moon into a soaring rocker. Fantastic. Unfortunately, my wife, who rarely attends rock shows, my 8-year old daughter who was attending her first show, and I were about mid-court (no chairs). Michael Stipe introduced Bruce and while he was playing his 12-string interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner, my wife was approached by the man in black and asked, "would you like to go to the front." Duh? He escorted us and another couple and their child who had flown in from England down to the pit. We arrived as Bruce was finishing the Nation Anthem. We had been concerned about the volume and had my daughter outfitted with ear plugs and sound dampening headphones. Not to worry. When a full band, almost heavy metal, "Born in the USA" shakes your internal organs, her ear protection becomes moot. Then Badlands, Prove It, & No Surrender, HARD ROCK, ROCK, ROCK. That was her introduction to live rock - 15 feet directly in front of Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band playing as loud at the muther f**king system would play. The highlight I'll never forget was John Fogerty playing "Fortunate Son." Near the end, with the females in my life at my sides, when Bruce stepped up to the mike next to John and sang the last chorus of this greatest of anti Vietnam war song, I've never been prouder - of Bruce, of John, of my family, of our politics, even of myself to have had the good taste to say over 26 years earlier, "THIS IS THE GUY. I PICK BRUCE."

My daughter's favorite song in the world was Mary's Place. Although he played only an average version, that is, a 12 minute, show-stopping, stunning performance of audio and visual art, I watcher her about half the time. I may be projecting, but she had a facial expression of mesmorized rhapsody. I just can't nitpik this four, plus, hour, show. And make no mistake, this was a Bruce Springsteen concert - there were two great opening acts, and a legendary special guest, but everything revolved around Bruce. Traci, REM, John, Bruce, my family, and a goal too important not to do everything in our power achieve: CHANGE.

Memories of these shows became bittersweet a month later, after the election. I couldn't get out of bed the entire next day. I believe Bush stole Ohio. History has already proved us right. But the human spirit is resilent. As of this writing we have less than 18 months to tolerate this ultimate fortunate son, the worst "president" out of the 43. Tax cuts for the wealthy, shredding the Constitution, chosing politics over Science, New Orleans and Katrina, a catastrophic war based on lies, and so much more - can you E V I L - but worst of all, the torture - it's hard to criticize the barbarians when we're in the gutter with them.

But I've never been prouder of any public figure, ever, than of Bruce Springsteen during the 2004 election, and this show in Orlando was the pinnacle. In fact, it was one of the highlights of my life.

Thank you, Bruce. Faith will be rewarded.

Sandy Hickson wrote: All in fantastic form... honorable mentions go to Johnny 99, No Surrender, Centerfield, Fortunate Son, Because the Night.... the house was not quite full but nobody sat down the whole night ... beautiful, crisp, up close and personal video coverage on the Jumbotron ... acoustics sounded great and Bruce and the Gang sure looked like they were having a GREAT time!!! ...Brian and I did too!


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